AIOCD said that since last year March 2020 till date, more than 650 Chemists and Pharmacists lost their lives due to COVID-19 infections.
A medical representative (C) with Abbott talks to a chemist at a market in Pune August 27, 2012. Picture taken August 27, 2012. To match Insight INDIA-PHARMA/KICKBACKS REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui (INDIA – Tags: HEALTH BUSINESS) – GM1E89H1GT901
The All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) which represents lakhs of chemists and pharmaceutical distributors across India on May 20 threatened to join lockdown, if the government doesn’t treat them as frontline workers and provide them COVID-19 vaccination on priority.
“The AIOCD, a nationwide organisation of 9.4 lakh chemists in India, may anytime join the lockdown to protect and save the lives of its members, as they were sidelined considering vaccination priority,” the body said in a statement to media.
“Despite all the dangers, every chemist of the country is continuously providing services. Dispensing and distribution of medicine is nothing less important than doctors, nurses, hospital staff and sanitisation workers,” the body said.
AIOCD said that since last year March 2020 till date, more than 650 chemists and pharmacists lost their lives due to COVID-19 infections.
“The Chemists and their staff are most vulnerable to infection as they closely interact with patients at shop counters,” AIOCD said.
The chemists’ body also expressed unhappiness about government taking control over the distribution of Remdesivir and Tocilizumab drugs from its members, but the drugs were not made available to them even when the needed.
“We want to maintain the availability of medicines during this crucial Corona period, so we did not resort to any strike or lockdown till today,” said AIOCD President JS Shinde and General Secretary Rajiv Singhal.
“But now we do not want to put our members in risk and therefore we demand vaccination priority vaccination to all 9.4 lakh chemists and support staff, or else our chemists will join regular lockdown followed by other trade members,” Shinde and Singhal said.